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Romy Schneider – stunning, sensual, sensitive

A spirited woman with a life full of misfortune

With her beauty and talent, she touched the whole world. Romy Schneider went down in film history as a feminine style icon, but her professional success contrasted with repeated set-backs in her private life.

Romy Schneider is one of the women who were a major inspiration behind the Högl Autumn/Winter collection. The Vienna-born actress celebrated her greatest screen successes in the 70s and went down in history as an unforgettable style icon. It wasn’t just her personality, her charisma and her beauty that were mesmerising, but also the fact that she never gave in to the zeitgeist, leading a self-determined life despite the outdated role models that prevailed at that time.

“I am nothing in life, but everything on the screen.”
– Romy Schneider

Romy Schneider led her life in the spotlight: strong, proud and self-assured. It was only under closer examination that her perfect façade of girlish beauty gradually began to crumble.

 

Her role as the Austro-Hungarian Empress Sissi gave Romy Schneider (1938–1982) her breakthrough. At the tender age of 16, the Vienna-born actress became famous the world over, and she would quickly become revered as an icon in film history. Her girlish beauty turned men’s heads, while her acting talent paved the way for her to grace some of the world’s greatest stages.

“You don’t reach for an excellent opportunity lightly; you grab it
by the horns and work hard to make the most of it.” 

– Romy Schneider

Famous directors like Luchino Visconti and Claude Sautet applauded her for her incredible ambition and the concentration that she maintained on the set. “Once, Gérard Depardieu kept pulling faces during a shoot. Romy couldn’t help but laugh, and said, ‘He’s just crazy, that guy, he’s simply crazy.’ But one second later, she was focussed again,” her close friend, the French actor Jean-Claude Brialy, once said in an interview. As soon as “Action!” was called, nothing else existed except the character that she was playing. Romy Schneider was a perfectionist in front of the camera, and she was seldom satisfied with her performance. She took the leading role in over 60 films, while also working in theatre and appearing on TV shows. Films such as The Swimming Pool (La Piscine, Jacques Deray, 1969), The Things of Life (Claude Sautet, 1970) und The Infernal Trio (Le Trio Infernal, Francis Girod, 1974) helped her to finally shed her Sissi image.

Whenever she was in the spotlight, she always seemed strong, proud and self-assured. It was only under closer examination that her perfect façade of girlish beauty gradually began to crumble.

“I always have to go to extremes, even if it’s not a good thing.
I love going to the limits of what is possible, in my work as well as in my emotions.”

– Romy Schneider

While her acting career was climbing to great heights, time and again her private life would arrive at a dead end. She was always searching for her true self - and for the big love of her life. No matter who or what she loved, she put her whole heart into it, and she was devastated whenever a relationship came to an end. Probably her most passionate relationship was with the French actor and heartthrob Alain Delon, who she met while shooting Christine in 1958. But the relationship broke down in 1963, after a 5-year engagement, when he left her for his pregnant lover. Romy gravitated towards dominant men and she took refuge in marriage to the German actor and director Harry Meyen, who allegedly bled her dry and stole her money. She decided to leave him. He subsequently committed suicide and she felt responsible for this for the rest of her life.

“One day you wake up and realise that there are few men who are as strong as you are yourself.”
– Romy Schneider

In 1981, Romy had to face another even harder stroke of fate. Her son David, from her marriage with Meyen, died when he accidentally fell on the spikes of an iron garden fence, fatally injuring himself. Romy was plunged into a deep crisis. This developed into a psychological breakdown, although she still carried on working. The pain and the grief that she suffered in her private life unavoidably crept into her film roles. She unconsciously drew on her suffering, and conveyed it through her film characters. Her last film was The Passerby (1982), where she played alongside Michel Piccoli.

“I am an unhappy 42-year-old woman and my name is Romy Schneider.”
– Romy Schneider

One year later, on 29th May 1982, she was found dead in her Paris apartment. She died of heart failure, or as her closest friends said, of a broken heart. Romy Schneider’s claim to have the absolute right to live her life to the full, in private and professionally, cost her her life. But her authenticity and her emotions in real life as well as in her acting roles were also re-sponsible for ensuring that she became a legend, and that she left behind many touching memories.

Romy Schneider was not only the most beautiful and most fragile diva in French and German cinema, she was also the first woman to put her innermost being in the public eye. You too can have the confidence to make a statement and to show off your character – and your fashion style is the first step. The shoe designs in the Högl Autumn/Winter collection will help you express your individuality and have a self-assured attitude to life.

If you’d like to delve deeper into the moving world of Romy Schneider and you’re in Germany or Austria, you can visit a theatre performance (in German) or an exhibition honouring the film icon:

 

Theatre shows:

Tribüne Linz – Theater am Südbahnhof: “Romy Schneider – Die Geschichte einer Schauspielerin” (“Romy Schneider – The Story of an Actress”)

Sat 10/10, 19:30 / Sun 11/10, 17:00 / Fri 06/11, 19:30 / Sat 07/11, 19:30 / Sat 28/11, 19:30 / Sun 29/11, 17:00

https://www.tribuene-linz.at/romyschneider

 

Chris Pichler: “Romy Schneider – Zwei Gesichter einer Frau” (“Romy Schneider – Two Faces of a Woman”)

Kulturverein Nordsee Varel: Thu 10/12/2020 19:30

Theater des Friedens Rostock: Sat 12/12/2020 

Lessingtheater Wolfenbüttel: Tue 17/11/2020 19:30

Kulturverein Burscheid: Sat 23/01/2021

https://www.chrispichler.com/romy-schneider-zwei-gesichter-einer-frau/

 

Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck: “Romy Schneider” (dance theatre production)

Sat 27/02/2021 19:00

https://www.landestheater.at/produktion/romy-schneider/

 

Die Landestheater NRW: “Ich bin eine Schauspielerin, mehr nicht. Romy Schneider - Das Leben einer Ikone” (“I am an actress, no more than that. Romy Schneider - The Life of an Icon”)

Stadthalle Boppard, Boppard: Sun 15/11/2020 19:00

Neandertalhalle, Mettmann: Tue 17/11/2020 19:00 

Stadthalle Castrop-Rauxel, Castrop-Rauxel: Thu 04/03/2021 20:00 

Stadthalle Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Rheda-Wiedenbrück: Wed 10/03/2021 20:00

WLT-Studio Castrop-Rauxel, Castrop-Rauxel: Sat 20/03/2021 20:00

Saalbau Witten, Witten: Sun 09/05/2021 19:30 

LWL-Industriemuseum TextilWerk Bocholt, Bocholt: Sat 19/06/2021 20:00

 

Museums:

Schönau am Königssee – Alter Bahnhof: Romy Schneider Exhibition

29/05/20 – 04/11/2020: daily from 11:00 to 17:00

http://www.romy-schneider-ausstellung.de/

 

Schloss Klein Loitz – Felixsee (Brandenburg): Romy Schneider Exhibition

Fri 02/10 - Sun 04/10 / 13:00 – 18:00

Fri 09/10 - Sun 11/10 / 13:00 – 18:00

Fri 16/10 - Sun 18/10 / 13:00 – 18:00

Fri 23/10 - Sun 25/10 / 13:00 – 18:00

https://romyschneidermuseumschlosskleinloitz.business.site/posts/1260643797151876108?hl=de